Taking Your Kids to School: The True Costs

For most parents, it’s feels like second nature to act as a taxi service to your children. Especially if like us, you choose schools not in your village.  After being “the bank of mum and dad”, being “mum’s taxi” or “dad’s taxi” seems to be one job that parents just get. However, have you ever considered the cost of the service that you provide your kids? We recently spotted a Motorpoint survey that revealed all and thought we’d share the results here, too.

What the Survey Teaches Us : 

The survey of 750 parents revealing that parents drive 1,000 miles a year providing a taxi service for their children. This follows previous research that suggested that the equivalent in taxi fares would be £55 per week for children!  Now Charlie has moved to middle school in a different village to the girls and swimming lessons I can fully appreciate this. Twice a week I drive passed my house two times before I get to go in it!

Perhaps it’s no surprise, too. When you think about it, there are so many occasions when it just makes sense to give your child a lift rather than making them take the bus (if they’re old enough for this to even be an option). Between the daily lift to school, the weekly trip to sports practice and the monthly birthday bash, the miles certainly rack up easily.

taxi of mum and dad

How Do Parents Feel About This?

Of course, the time spent ferrying loved ones around isn’t important as long as both sides are happy with it. Obviously, kids are incredibly happy, but what about their parents?
Well… it’s bad news, as over half of parents felt as though they spent too long giving lifts to their children and almost a quarter said that it was too expensive for them, and 17% said that it caused a considerable strain on their household income.

However, we all have fond memories of being in the car with our parents, from singalongs to eye spy competitions, so the ritual of providing lifts is hardly likely to go anywhere; particularly because it allows parents to know that their children are safe.

What’s the Future of Lift Giving?

As lift giving doesn’t look likely to go away any time soon, perhaps we need to consider how we can lessen the burden for parents, and lower the amount of financial strain.
At first glance, the answer appears to be car-pooling; especially on the school run. The survey showed that the school run is where the most time and miles go in the car. With children going to the same location, why not scan the schoolyard and broach the subject of lift sharing with other parents? You could alternate weeks and cut your time and costs in half! It’s only a little change, but it could make a big difference.

To conclude, the cost of being “mum’s taxi” or “dad’s taxi” is certainly high, causing a large amount of financial strain. However, thanks to the safety element, lift giving doesn’t look likely to go away any time soon. So, let’s look towards car-pooling more often to lessen the strain.

 

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